Specific hallmarks on the house make a room special such as furniture, accessories, and other components. These elements make a room look more elegant, exquisite, and faithful to a signature. While some truly exquisite pieces can cause a fortune, you can train your eyes to find subtle touches that provide a tasteful ambiance like those in richly decorated homes. Here are some suggestions to duplicate the expensive hallmarks less inexpensively:

SPEND                                                                                                                       SAVE


Exotic trees                                                                                                                 Ficus trees


Status Italian lamps                                                                                                     Excellent reproductions


Electronically controlled blinds                                                                                    Mini-blinds


Collections of very old, leather-bound books                                                             Just one or two stacked on a table or bookshelf


An antique wood valet stand                                                                                      A new inexpensive wicker valet


Contemporary crystal vases                                                                           Straight-lined chemist flasks


Built-in recessed lighting                                                                                  Track lighting available in discount stores 

Warhol drawing, Rauschenberg graphic                                                     Work of talented art students in local art schools


If you have finally decided that your home’s walls are naked or you are simply a gallery-phobic, here are a few tips for new collectors to know what things to consider before buying that masterpiece:

1. Educate yourself. There are several art books that you can read on art. Read about the different artists, their training, and their career. Look through pictures of their works and find out what styles and themes intrigue you. You can also go to library or visit websites of galleries and artists.

2. Deal with a reputable gallery. In doing so, you can be assured that you are not buying fakes, or worse, stolen pieces. A reputable gallery will not risk its good name just to make a sale.

3. Buy a piece that you really like. More than the name of the artist or the price of a piece, you have to like the painting first and foremost before you decide to buy it. Buying art is like a relationship, it will not work if on the onset one party is not really into it.

4. Choose the right type of frame. The type of frame can make or break a good piece of art. Go to a professional framer to properly display and protect your artworks for the long run.


We want to find the color identities that spell to us an elegant and wonderful home. As it is important to control the quality of your furniture, it is also important to control the quality of the color in your home. Poorly applied color can destroy everything that you are trying to achieve and, in contrast, quality color can enhance it.

White is never a plain color, and in fact it can make things that are not so wonderful, quite wonderful. Light colors also make rooms look larger as they tend to hide the corners. Light colors on ceiling have the effect of raising them. Light, unbroken expanses of floor color them larger than they are.

White is also a staple in our lives and can indeed give rich messages. Cheap woods for instance, take on freshness and charm when painted white. An old wrought iron mirror becomes a touch of luxe in white. If you couple inexpensive painted furniture painted white with ornate accessories, the look is pure elegance. Unrelated furniture inherited or picked up at thrift shops become charmingly united when white-washed.